Innovative Games at GDC 2010

I just noticed that I was included in a list of MIT alumni, in Even More Groundbreaking Alumni-Developed Video Games.   What an honor to be mentioned alongside Looking Glass Studios, and games like Defender, Ms. Pac-Man, and Asheron’s Call. I should mention that Cogs is a Finalist  in the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival in the category of Excellence in Design.  I attended my very first GDC with 1999’s IGF winner Terminus and it’s wonderful to see how the IGF has grown over the past years.

Speaking of innovative games, I will be leading the IGDA Game Design session at GDC 2010.  We plan to have some interesting paper prototypes from professional and student designers alike for you to play, so please come and join in the fun!

IGDA: Game Design SIG
Speaker: Sande Chen (Writer and Game Designer, Freelance)
Date/Time: Friday (March 12, 2010)   3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 228, East Mezzanine
Track: Game Design
Format: 60-minute Roundtable
Experience Level: All

See you at GDC 2010!

Posted by Sande.

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Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Highlights from GDC 2009

Authors from Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG

Authors from Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG

If you were at the book signing for Writing For Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG at GDC 2009, thank you for coming!

As you can see from the photo, several of the authors were in attendance.  The interest was so high that the publishers even brought down the first IGDA Writers SIG book, Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing and sold those too.  In a rare instance, my co-author David Michael and I also signed our book, Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform.

For photo highlights, check out David Michael’s blog, Joe Indie.  (Quick, before he starts blogging about something else!)

I contributed to Edge Online‘s GDC 2009 coverage and will also be contributing session write-ups to GameDev‘s GDC 2009 coverage, including Patrick Redding’s talk on AI dialog systems.

In addition, I’m starting up my twitter channel, so if you would like to keep tabs on Game Design Aspect of the Month or my other blogs, please do visit or subscribe.

Posted by Sande for Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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Published in: on April 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Signing at GDC 2009

If you’re headed to GDC next week, be sure to pick up the latest IGDA Writers SIG book, Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG.  It’ll be on sale at the GDC bookstore as well as on AK Peters’ Web site, Amazon.com, Borders.com, and in most major bookstores.

Plus, a special “Meet the Authors” book signing event will take place on Thursday, March 26, 2009 from 5:30p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94103, at the IGDA booth in the lobby outside of the exhibit hall.  We’ll be there and so will other game writers like Haris Orkin, Richard Dansky, Evan Skolnick, and John Feil.

Let us know if you can make it and we’ll say hello!

This post brought to you by Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 1:53 am  Comments (2)  

You don’t know Austin GDC 2008 until you’ve read this

Sande trekked over to Austin to get you the latest on what’s going on at the Game Developers Conference.  Whether you attended these sessions or not, check out what you missed by reading Sande’s articles over at Edge Online.

Know Your Characters

Tom Abernathy tells you that story comes from character.  He goes further to say character inspires mechanics.  Now if only we can get developers to develop characters before mechanics and we’ll be all set!

What’s Wrong With Questing and How to Fix It

Attendees brainstorm on solutions to the seminal text box for delivering quests.  Many MMOs and games have taken a stab at it.  Added benefit of eliminating the text box in favor of icons or one-liners?  You save your writers’ time so they can focus on making a good adventure.

Future Gaming

Where will games be in 35 years?  Find out what a towel has to do with it!

Google Lively Becoming Game-Friendly

Worlds in Motion Summit reveals that Google isn’t interested in dollars.  Oh, I’m sorry.  Virtual dollars.

Other News from Austin:

Breaking the Sound Barrier

Cartoon Network Flexes IP in MMO

Building an Online Disneyland

Anything from AGDC you’re just dying to learn about?  Got any hot tips?  Click on the comment below and do your magic.

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Published in: on September 16, 2008 at 11:42 pm  Comments (3)  
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Writers Cabal at Austin Game Conference 2008

Of course, we would be remiss if we skipped out on the Austin Game Conference with its focus on game writing.  While Anne is in Helsinki, Sande is traveling to Texas to bring back the best of what the conference has to offer next week.  So in preparation, here are a few short articles on what writers and designers stand to gain at AGC.

Top Ten Reasons Writers Need to be in Austin

Unfortunately, it’s not worthy of David Letterman, but this list of reasons to attend is no joke.

The Writing Track for Game Designers

This article underlines once again why an understanding of writing isn’t just useful for writers.  But you already knew that, or you wouldn’t have come here.

Will you be at AGC?  Drop a comment or send Sande an e-mail if you want to meet up!

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Published in: on September 12, 2008 at 8:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Writers Cabal First Anniversary pictures

At GDC this year, Writers Cabal celebrated our first anniversary/blogiversary.  We gathered at the Sugar Cafe in San Francisco to enjoy friends and food.

The cake wasn\'t a lie!

We had much cake — red velvet, in case you’re hungry. 

Thanks for everyone who came.  Hope to see the rest of you next year!

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Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  

When to bring writers in on your game

I’m still recovering from post-GDC blahs, so I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. While at GDC, I attended a couple lectures and panels on outsourcing. While we always encourage game developers to bring in writers early, it may be the best time to bring in writers is both early and late.

According to one GDC session, there are three stages of production.  The core team of any project generates the creative aspects. If you’re working on a story-driven game, a writer should be part of the core team.  The second stage, agile, would include key art and tech.  Finally, the scalable section includes outsourcing content, such as writing.   

 Outsourcing chart

Of course, there’s more than one way to go about bringing in writers.  Do you agree or disagree with this method?

Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

2008 Game Developers Conference – Day 5

End of Day 5 at the 2008 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA:

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Published in: on February 23, 2008 at 11:07 pm  Comments (2)